Globalization holds the promise of bringing employment and wealth to historically underdeveloped areas. Much of the enthusiasm, though, has been dampened by concerns of low wages and poor working conditions. These concerns have resulted in the inclusion of labor provisions in American free trade agreements, including the inclusion of the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) as a side agreement to NAFTA. This note argues the labor provisions found in these trade agreements fail to achieve the United States' stated goal of using free trade agreements as vehicles to improve labor conditions globally. Too much responsibility is placed on state actors who do not have the necessary political will to supervise the enforcement of a trading partner's domestic labor laws. Instead, future agreements should place greater emphasis on protecting the right to organize and bargain collectively, and allow the workers to more effectively advocate for themselves.

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